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  1. rainous's Avatar
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    #1

    a glitch in a New York Times article?

    At the same time Freud and Jung act out a complicated Oedipal drama, as the younger analyst evolves from promising disciple into Freud’s heir apparent and then a dangerous rebel, whose mystical interests fly in the face of psychoanalytic orthodoxy.

    I was reading a New York Times article and stumbled upon the sentence above.

    Shouldn't "promising" be preceded by "a" if I were to be extra fastidious about grammar?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: a glitch in a New York Times article?

    With constructions like this, we can omit the article. However, they do have a particular tone to them which I admit I am struggling to describe. A few example sentences follow and I'm hoping a fellow native might be able to explain what it is about them that makes the omission possible!


    Gradually, James changed from pupil to teacher.
    Over the year, Jane transformed herself from ugly duckling to beautiful swan.
    We have watched Gok Wan go from simple designer's assistant to fashion guru extraordinaire.
    I'd like to go from fattest guy on the block, to skinniest dude in the neighbourhood.

  3. rainous's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: a glitch in a New York Times article?

    I, too, as a non-native, can definitely feel the tonal shift but every time I try to put my finger on it,
    I almost feel the need to reset my bearings as to what's grammatical and normal.

    Should I just get used to the differences in tone
    and regard it as yet another example of the irregularities in English language?

  4. JohnParis's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: a glitch in a New York Times article?

    This is not an irregularity of the English language, it's an example of a style - a very New York Times style.

    EM2 provided several excellent examples of how the article can be omitted.

    Also, Rain, the fact that you questioned the construction means that you picked up on the authors style. This is a good thing. I like to be reminded from time to time of different styles and various equally correct ways of communicating ideas. It keeps it fun.

    John

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